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First OR Today Webinar of 2017 Examines Block Scheduling

The 2017 OR Today Webinar Series kicked off with “Block Scheduling – Five Years Later” by Michelle Jackson.

Jackson serves as Manager of Surgery Scheduling for St. Luke’s Health System anchored in Boise Idaho. She oversees centralized surgery scheduling for more than 40 OR suites as well as multiple procedural areas with an annual volume totaling over 50,000 cases. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the centralized surgery scheduling department, she serves as a resource to the decentralized departments and locations. Most recently, she led the build and transition to Epic OpTime scheduling for the health system.

In addition, Jackson manages block time and reporting, and leads physician Block Committees at two St Luke’s facilities.

Five years ago, St Luke’s Health System embarked on a mission to more efficiently utilize OR time and more effectively manage block time. Jackson’s webinar outlined the essential elements of a managed block system. She also shared insights from lessons learned.

During her presentation, participants learned about the elements of a well-written block policy and how to recognize activities essential to a well-managed block system.

Jackson explained the benefits of utilizing block time in an efficiently run OR and shared the lessons she has learned from hands-on experience and education.

Jackson said the critical elements of a block policy include clear guidelines, an understanding of expectations and rules, clear utilization calculations, a process for the review of utilization and a clear enforcement plan.

Jackson concluded the webinar with an informative Q&A session.

The webinar was a hit with attendees receiving a 4.4 rating on a 5-point scale where 5 is the best possible score.

“A great webinar! Great ideas to keep surgeons in line with their block scheduling,” Joyce M. wrote in her post-webinar survey.

“This webinar made clear the importance of communicating through each person in the necessary departments in order to create efficient block scheduling,” Marleigh H. said.

“The webinar was extremely helpful! As our ASC grows, we’re eager to hear from other facilities as to what works in their OR setting and what doesn’t,” Sharla M. shared.

“(The) block scheduling webinar was very helpful in understanding how doctors think of their time and how to manage it,” Candy M. wrote.

For more information about the OR Today Webinar Series, including a calendar with upcoming webinars and recordings or previous webinars, visit



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